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RandyinDEN

HAL website unusable still

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This is what HAL needs to do. Hire some one who has never seen their web site. Then ask them to navigate around in it. HAL will then see exactly how disorganized and difficult it is to use. I suspect they are having the same people who designed the website to evaluate it. Someone at HAL needs to get some fresh eyes on it.

The old website was not perfect, but it was far superior to the new one.

Items that I have had problems with:

Trying to find where I could pre-order beverages to be delivered to cabin. I had to ask here at Cruise Critic where to find this.

I recently wanted to check the latest price for the Pinnacle Grill - I could not find it anywhere. Again, i used Cruise Critic to get this info.

There doesn't seem to be any logic over which tab a subject can be found. After using the website for many hours, I got better at finding things, but you shouldn't need to practice for hours to use their website.

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54 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

I hope you take the time to go back into the HAL website one more time and use the sidebar "feedback" feature and tell them exactly what you just posted here. This website failure has to be impacting their bottom line by now and we get reports that travel agents hate it too.

 

Amazing HAL management has not scrapped it entirely by now - it cannot be fixed because its approach, format and as you say lack of intuitive feel cannot be tweaked. It needs to start from the bottom up - not the top down. 

Good suggestion, but... unfortunately, based off of the experience of someone I know there, the feedback really don't reach anyone. Maybe once in awhile, something gets surfaced or sent to marketing or product team, but no one really much reviews the Feedback comments because they already know all the issues that need to be fixed and have them backlogged. It more of a matter money/time/resources in getting to those items that need fixing. If they are losing revenue and they switched to some horrible site format that doesn't look like it's using J-angular or javascript, it could be something where they are having trouble finding the right developer who have the right experience for a UI language that nobody loves ... 

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New glitches.

 

Small glitch. Sometimes when I log in I see "my account" next to my name. Other times I have to look under "already booked" to find "my account." Makes no sense...

 

Bigger glitch. This morning I logged in to see the tours I have booked for my cruise. Clicked on "my itinerary," and found no tours. None, nada, zip, zero. So, I tried rebooking one of them to see if the website would tell me I'm already booked, which is what usually happened. No, didn't happen. The site appears to have no idea that I already had the tour booked. Tried another and the site offered to put me on a waitlist because the tour is sold out? WHAT????

 

So I called the tour department. The agent pulled up my account and he found my tours. He emailed a copy of my itinerary and the tours do show. And, of course, I have the emails from when I booked. So if the tours don't exist when I get onboard, I will have proof with me.

 

So I asked, if the tours are booked why don't I see them on the website? And does he know that the website is bad? His answer was that they're doing the best they can with what they have. I said they need to get better techs and he said they're doing the best they can. He did offer to pass along a comment, don't know where he's passing it to... 🙄

 

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On 1/9/2019 at 11:33 AM, Mochidelight said:

I am for sure no longer cruising with HAL. What do you guys recommend a better replacement for HAL AND preferably one that has an easier and more intuitive website to book things? I was eyeing Princess Cruises, but wanted to get feedback from this community. Thank you in advance!!

 

Sorry, no suggestions to offer as I do not know of a "better replacement for HAL".  However, I do have a favor to ask:  When you find a web site (cruise line or otherwise) that works perfectly 100% of the time for 100% of the people (of widely different levels of tech savviness and competence) who try to use it, please let us know.  Thank you in advance!!!

Edited by avian777

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:28 PM, Roz said:

If you surf the other forums for Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian, etc., you'll find that other cruise lines' website have the same issues.  I know it's frustrating when a line's website doesn't work properly, but I personally don't make my cruise selection based on how well or well not a website functions.

 

Roz

 

👍👍👍  Spot on, Roz!!!  Thanks for sharing your insight ...

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Bring back the old website - even with its quirks it was far more accessible and functional than this replacement.

 

Of course websites matter when booking a cruise. There is no excuse for this new HAL website to operate as the public's main interface as badly as it is currently operating today. It has to be materially affecting HAL's bottomline, particularly when travel agents too (another primary public interface) admit they hate it too. 

 

HAL needs a strong dose of "continuous quality improvement"  CQI management; not just rearranging the deck chairs on this ship wreck of a website. The new HAL website goes well beyond just being dysfunctional; it is intentionally annoying, irritating and alienating at this stage of the game. 

 

 

Edited by OlsSalt

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The HAL website is terrible, but I would not switch cruise lines, just because of a poor web site. In my view, a website has little to do with cruising. The experience on board is what makes a cruise line. Sure it would be nice to have a decent website too. But their website is of little importance once you are on board.

People did cruise before there was an internet.

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3 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 The new HAL website goes well beyond just being dysfunctional; it is intentionally annoying, irritating and alienating at this stage of the game. 

 

I seriously doubt it's intentional.  Obviously there are problems and they're having difficulty (don't know if it's management or IT or both), but I don't think a bunch of people in Seattle gathered in a conference room and decided to drive away existing and potential HAL customers by designing a website that doesn't always work properly.

 

Roz

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2 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

I seriously doubt it's intentional.  Obviously there are problems and they're having difficulty (don't know if it's management or IT or both), but I don't think a bunch of people in Seattle gathered in a conference room and decided to drive away existing and potential HAL customers by designing a website that doesn't always work properly.

 

Roz

👍👍👍  Spot on, Roz!!! 

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It's horrible.....

 

When I find a cruise on HAL.....I look for it on other cruise sites....one that will list the itinerary in a usable fashion....

 

And.....not identifying and listing the tender ports is a huge disservice.....!! 

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9 hours ago, Roz said:

 

I seriously doubt it's intentional.  Obviously there are problems and they're having difficulty (don't know if it's management or IT or both), but I don't think a bunch of people in Seattle gathered in a conference room and decided to drive away existing and potential HAL customers by designing a website that doesn't always work properly.

 

Roz

 

At this point, it is intentional. Mystery why they would do this, but after months of this nonsense there is no other explanation.  Maybe "management" does want to get rid of this aberrational "mid market - smaller ship" niche member of the CCL family that just won't play by their new rules. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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7 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 

At this point, it is intentional. Mystery why they would do this, but after months of this nonsense there is no other explanation.  Maybe "management" does want to get rid of this aberrational "mid market - smaller ship" niche member of the CCL family that just won't play by their new rules

 

Why would CCL want to "get rid of" HAL, one of its most profitable divisions?  And just which "new rules" is it that HAL "won't play by"?  Seriously, I fail to see any evidence for this assertion and would appreciate hearing your explanation/theory.  Thank you in advance for your response.

Edited by avian777

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Frankly, I don’t think that HAL’s site is difficult to navigate. That said, I’ve never booked direct with ANY cruise line. Can always get a better price from one of the big on-line shops. 

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I'd sent a message to tech support about that forced load on the Find a cruise page back to plan page, and this morning I found it fixed.

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1 hour ago, avian777 said:

 

Why would CCL want to "get rid of" HAL, one of its most profitable divisions?  And just which "new rules" is it that HAL "won't play by"?  Seriously, I fail to see any evidence for this assertion and would appreciate hearing your explanation/theory.  Thank you in advance for your response.

 

All the sudden now HAL is CCL's most profitable division? Do tell. Others here continue to claim the other CCL partners are subsidizing HAL. Since we can't get unconsolidated returns in the CCL Annual Report, the returns on the various divisions has never been publicly reported. Now you are claiming HAL is the one who is subsidizing the other CCL partners.

 

Which must mean it was doing well with its original fleet of smaller. older ships after all. HAL did not have to go big to remain competitive after all?   Let's hear your response and source of information for this new set of facts you just added to this discussion.

 

Like GM eliminated their competing subdivisions who were pretty much chasing the same customers, what is the point of HAL becoming more like Princess with the growing size of HAL ships and dilution of the former unique HAL smaller ship experience?

 

It would then make sense to spin these larger HAL ships into the Princess brand and reduce their now internecine competition for customers and marketing and administrative costs.  And then have HAL sell off their older smaller ships to Fred Olsen, who apparently still does know how to keep a dedicated smaller, older ship cruise line afloat. 

 

Thank you for adding this new dimension to the discussion - HAL is the cruise line that keeps the rest of CCL afloat.  Which would be the "old  HAL" - not the new HAL.

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HAL has what, 18 ships. Carnival has over 100.  Is the claim that HAL is so profitable it brings all the Carnival cruise lines into the black?   Really???

 

If this is the case you would think that HAL we invest a few pennies in redesigning and upgrading their atrocious customer facing web site.

Edited by iancal

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2 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 

All the sudden now HAL is CCL's most profitable division?  (No where in my Post did I say that HAL is CCL's "most profitable division".  My Post clearly said "one of CCL's most profitable divisions".  As you suggested in your Post # 17 above, I suggest you re-read my Post before ascribing superlative claims to me.)  Do tell. Others here continue to claim the other CCL partners are subsidizing HAL. Since we can't get unconsolidated returns in the CCL Annual Report, the returns on the various divisions has never been publicly reported. Now you are claiming HAL is the one who is subsidizing the other CCL partners. (No where in my Post did I claim that HAL " is subsidizing the other CCL partners."  Again, suggest you re-read my Post before making ridiculous accusations such as this.)

 

Which must mean it was doing well with its original fleet of smaller. older ships after all. HAL did not have to go big to remain competitive after all?   Let's hear your response and source of information for this new set of facts you just added to this discussion.  (The main "source of information" for my assertion that HAL is one of CCL's most profitable divisions is, of course, the CCL Annual Reports which, though reported on a consolidated basis, contain enough (division-specific) information that one can extrapolate data sufficiently to make some  educated and very accurate "guesses" as to the relative contribution of HAL to CCL.  Additionally, the various periodic CCL press releases provide significant insight into the CCL family, especially if one knows how to read and interpret "corporate speak".) 

 

Like GM eliminated their competing subdivisions who were pretty much chasing the same customers, what is the point of HAL becoming more like Princess with the growing size of HAL ships and dilution of the former unique HAL smaller ship experience?

 

It would then make sense to spin these larger HAL ships into the Princess brand and reduce their now internecine competition for customers and marketing and administrative costs.  And then have HAL sell off their older smaller ships to Fred Olsen, who apparently still does know how to keep a dedicated smaller, older ship cruise line afloat. 

 

Thank you for adding this new dimension to the discussion - HAL is the cruise line that keeps the rest of CCL afloat.  Which would be the "old  HAL" - not the new HAL.  (Again, I never said that "HAL is the cruise line that keeps the rest of CCL afloat.  I said that HAL is one of CCL's most profitable divisions - period.)

 

See my responses in red above.  And thank you for setting forth your theory of why HAL would be intentionally alienating its customer base.  I do not agree with your theory, albeit it is very creative/inventive.

BTW I's still awaiting your answer to my question as to which "new rules" HAL refuses to "play by".

Edited by avian777

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47 minutes ago, avian777 said:

 

See my responses in red above.  And thank you for setting forth your theory of why HAL would be intentionally alienating its customer base.  I do not agree with your theory, albeit it is very creative/inventive.

BTW I's still awaiting your answer to my question as to which "new rules" HAL refuses to "play by".

 

New rules - bigger is better.

 

 I stand by my extrapolation - you raised the issue, long debated here: Is HAL is disproportionately carrying a profit load or a loss load for the rest of the CCL family. Or are they a neutral net zero player. 

 

Yes, I did struggle once with a veiled corporate speak accounting term in a past CCL consolidated report - it did set out HAL as doing "something" different than the other cruise partners - no one here could explain that odd terminology.

 

Was HAL doing better or doing worse according to that CCL Annual Report? But it appears you just confirmed what that accounting term meant.  

 

Thank you for that missing piece of information. HAL is a real profit center for CCL - playing by the old rules. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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36 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

New rules - bigger is better.

 

 I stand by my extrapolation - you raised the issue, long debated here: Is HAL is disproportionately carrying a profit load or a loss load for the rest of the CCL family. Or are they a neutral net zero player. 

 

Yes, I did struggle once with a veiled corporate speak accounting term in a past CCL consolidated report - it did set out HAL as doing "something" different than the other cruise partners - no one here could explain that odd terminology.

 

Was HAL doing better or doing worse according to that CCL Annual Report? But it appears you just confirmed what that accounting term meant.  

 

Thank you for that missing piece of information. HAL is a real profit center for CCL - playing by the old rules. 

 

Thanks for your response.  While we may disagree on causality and/or intentionality, I think we can agree that HAL's new website is less than optimal, which IMO puts it on a pretty even par with the new CC website ... and a host of other websites!!!

Regards & thanks for offering suggestions to HAL's website team.

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5 minutes ago, avian777 said:

 

Thanks for your response.  While we may disagree on causality and/or intentionality, I think we can agree that HAL's new website is less than optimal, which IMO puts it on a pretty even par with the new CC website ... and a host of other websites!!!

Regards & thanks for offering suggestions to HAL's website team.

 

We don't make HAL reservations on the CC website - fewer consequences for CC website glitches, than for the truly awful for profit marketing interface that is today's HAL website. 

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Just now, OlsSalt said:

 

We don't make HAL reservations on the CC website - fewer consequences for CC website glitches, than for the truly awful for profit marketing interface that is today's HAL website. 

 

Nor do we - in fact, we also don't make our own reservations on the HAL website, choosing instead to pay a TA for her invaluable services.

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I concur with all of you that the HAL website is difficult to use and needs changes.  That being said have any of you noticed the much needed corrections to the Flightease program?  Some of our CC members have accidently cancelled flights using the previous program.  Changes have been made and now it is just about impossible to accidently cancel a flight booking as there are warning signs all along the way to prevent that.   I am trying to be hopeful that they will learn from feedback about the rest of their on line program.

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56 minutes ago, avian777 said:

 

Nor do we - in fact, we also don't make our own reservations on the HAL website, choosing instead to pay a TA for her invaluable services.

 

How cost effective is it for HAL to not capture the buyer on the first pass on their own website?   They have to spin off freebies if/when it goes on to a travel agent.  

 

Is that the deal - the HAL website meisters who inhabit the bottom rung of Dante's Inferno really want you to go to a travel agent?  

Edited by OlsSalt

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37 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

... Is that the deal - the HAL website meisters who inhabit the bottom rung of Dante's Inferno really want you to go to a travel agent?  

 

Beats me - certainly another interesting theory, although I doubt that I'm on the radar screens of "the HAL website meisters", so I really don't think I'm their "target". 

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I suspect HAL's website was designed with a "mobile first" mindset based on the user experience being decent on a phone or tablet  but not-so-great on a regular screen.

 

I was shopping among HAL, Princess, Azamara, and Oceania over the weekend.   I like how the Princess site works the best.

Edited by TrakHack

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